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Peter Boyle


Peter Boyle

Peter Boyle
Peter Boyle in 1978
Born Peter Lawrence Boyle
(1935-10-18)October 18, 1935
Norristown, Pennsylvania, United States
Died December 12, 2006(2006-12-12) (aged 71)
New York City, New York, United States
Cause of death Multiple myeloma
Nationality American
Occupation Actor
Years active 1966–2006
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Loraine Alterman
(m.1977–2006; his death)

Peter Lawrence Boyle (October 18, 1935 – December 12, 2006)[1][2] was an American actor, best known for his role as Frank Barone on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, and as a comical monster in Mel Brooks' film spoof Young Frankenstein (1974).

Boyle, who won an Emmy Award in 1996 for a guest-starring role on the science-fiction drama The X-Files, won praise in both comedic and dramatic parts following his breakthrough performance in the 1970 film Joe.[3]


  • Early life and career 1
  • Screen and theater 2
  • Later life and career 3
  • Death and legacy 4
  • Awards and nominations 5
  • Filmography 6
    • Film 6.1
    • Television 6.2
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life and career

Boyle was born on October 18, 1935, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, the son of Alice (née Lewis) and Francis Xavier Boyle.[4] He moved with his family to nearby Philadelphia.[5] His father was a Philadelphia TV personality from 1951–1963 who, among many other things, played the Western-show host Chuck Wagon Pete, and hosted the afterschool children's program Uncle Pete Presents the Little Rascals, which showed vintage Little Rascals, Three Stooges comedy shorts and Popeye cartoons.[6]

He had Irish ancestry and was raised Roman Catholic.[7][8] He attended St. Francis de Sales School and West Philadelphia Catholic High School For Boys. After graduating high school in 1953, Boyle spent three years as a novice of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, or De La Salle Brothers, a Catholic teaching order. He lived in a house of studies with other novices and earned a BA from La Salle University in Philadelphia in 1957, but left the order because he did not feel called to religious life.[9][10] While in Philadelphia, he worked as a cameraman on the cooking show Television Kitchen, hosted by Florence Hanford.[11]

After graduating from Officer Candidate School in 1959, he was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy, but his military career was shortened by a nervous breakdown.[12]

In New York City, Boyle studied with acting coach Uta Hagen while working as a postal clerk and a maitre d'.[13] He went on to play Murray the cop in a touring company of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple,[3] leaving the tour in Chicago, Illinois and joining The Second City improv comedy ensemble there.[13] He had a brief scene as the manager of an indoor shooting range in the critically acclaimed 1969 film Medium Cool, filmed in Chicago.

Screen and theater

Boyle gained acclaim for his first starring role, playing the title character, a bigoted New York City factory worker, in the 1970 movie Joe. The film's release was surrounded by controversy over its violence and language. It was during this time that Boyle became close friends with actress Jane Fonda, and with her he participated in many protests against the Vietnam War. After seeing people cheer at his role in Joe, Boyle refused the lead role in The French Connection (1971),[3] as well as other movie and TV roles that he believed glamorized violence. However in 1974, he starred in a film based on the life of murdered New York gangster "Crazy" Joey Gallo, called Crazy Joe.

His next major role was as the campaign manager for a U.S. Senate candidate (Robert Redford) in The Candidate (1972). Also in 1972 he appeared in "Steelyard Blues" with Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland, a film about a bunch of misfits trying to get a Catalina flying boat in a scrapyard flying again so that they could fly away to somewhere there weren't so many rules. He also played an Irish mobster opposite Robert Mitchum in The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973).

Boyle had another hit role as Frankenstein's monster in the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Young Frankenstein, in which, in an homage to King Kong, the monster is placed onstage in top hat and tails, grunt-singing and dancing to the song "Puttin' on the Ritz". Boyle said at the time, "The Frankenstein monster I play is a baby. He's big and ugly and scary, but he's just been born, remember, and it's been traumatic, and to him the whole world is a brand new alien environment. That's how I'm playing it".[13] Boyle met his wife, Loraine Alterman, on the set of Young Frankenstein while she was there as a reporter for Rolling Stone.[14] He was still in his Frankenstein makeup when he asked her for a date.[15] Through Alterman and her friend Yoko Ono, Boyle became friends with John Lennon, who was the best man at Boyle and Alterman's 1977 wedding.[16] Boyle and his wife had two daughters, Lucy and Amy.

Boyle received his first Emmy nomination for his acclaimed dramatic performance in the 1977 television film La Muerte y la Brujula. However, the film was not released until 1996.

His New York theater work included playing a comedian who is the object of The Roast, a 1980 Broadway play directed by Carl Reiner. Also in 1980 he co-starred with Tommy Lee Jones in an Off Broadway production of playwright Sam Shepard's acclaimed True West. Two years later, Boyle played the head of a dysfunctional family in Joe Pintauro's less well-received Snow Orchid, at the Circle Repertory.

In 1986, Boyle played the title role of the acclaimed but short-lived TV series Joe Bash, created by Danny Arnold. The comedy-drama followed the life of a lonely, world-weary, and sometimes compromised New York City beat cop whose closest friend was a prostitute, played by actress DeLane Matthews.[17]

Later life and career

In October 1990, Boyle suffered a near-fatal stroke that rendered him completely speechless and immobile for nearly six months. After recovering, he went on to win an Emmy Award in 1996 as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his appearance on The X-Files. In the episode, "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose", he played an insurance salesman who can see selected things in the near future, particularly others' deaths. Boyle also guest starred in two episodes as Bill Church in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He appears in Sony Music's unaired Roger Waters' music video "Three Wishes" (1992) as a scruffy genie in a dirty coat and red scarf, who tries to tempt Waters at a desert diner.[18][19]

Boyle was perhaps most widely known for his role as the deadpan, cranky Frank Barone in the CBS television sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, which aired from 1996 to 2005. The show was shot in Los Angeles, to which Boyle commuted from his New York City home. He was nominated for an Emmy seven times for this role, but never won (beaten out multiple times in the Supporting Actor category by his co-star Brad Garrett), though fellow co-stars Garrett, Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, and Boyle's TV wife Doris Roberts won at least one Emmy each for their performances.

In 1999, he had a heart attack[14] on the set of Everybody Loves Raymond. He soon regained his health and returned to the series. After the incident, Boyle was drawn back to his Catholic faith, and resumed attending Mass.[20]

In 2001, he appeared in the film Monster's Ball as the bigoted father of Billy Bob Thornton's character.

Introduced by comedian Carlos Mencia as "the most honest man in show business", Boyle made guest appearances on three episodes of the Comedy Central program Mind of Mencia — one of which was shown as a tribute in a segment made before Boyle's death — in which he read hate mail, explained the "hidden meanings" behind bumper stickers, and occasionally told Mencia how he felt about him.

Starting in late 2005, Boyle and former TV wife Doris Roberts appeared in TV commercials for the 75th anniversary of Alka-Seltzer, reprising the famous line, "I can't believe I ate that whole thing!" Although this quote has entered into popular culture, it is often misquoted as, "...the whole thing."[21] Boyle had a role in all three of The Santa Clause films. In the original, he plays Scott Calvin's boss. In the sequels, he plays Father Time.

Death and legacy

On December 12, 2006, Boyle died at the age of 71 in New York City at New York Presbyterian Hospital after suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease. At the time of his death, Boyle had completed his role in the film All Roads Lead Home and was scheduled to appear in The Golden Boys. The end credits of All Roads Lead Home include a dedication to his memory.

Boyle's death had a tremendous effect on his former co-stars from Everybody Loves Raymond, which ceased production less than two years prior to his passing. When asked to comment on Boyle's death, his cast members heaped praise on Boyle. Ray Romano was personally affected by the loss, saying, "He gave me great advice, he always made me laugh, and the way he connected with everyone around him amazed me." Patricia Heaton stated, "Peter was an incredible man who made all of us who had the privilege of working with him aspire to be better actors."[22]

On October 18, 2007, which would have been Boyle's 72nd birthday, his friend Bruce Springsteen, during a Madison Square Garden concert with the E Street Band in New York, dedicated "Meeting Across the River", segueing into "Jungleland", in memory of Boyle, stating: "An old friend died a while back – we met him when we first came to New York City... Today would have been his birthday."[23]

After he died from multiple myeloma in late 2006, Boyle's wife Loraine Alterman Boyle established the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund in support of the International Myeloma Foundation.[24] Boyle's closest friends, family and co-stars have since gathered yearly for a comedy celebration fundraiser in Los Angeles. Acting as a tribute to Boyle, the annual event is hosted by Ray Romano and has included performances by many comedic veterans including Dana Carvey, Fred Willard, Martin Mull, Richard Lewis, Kevin James, Jeff Garlin and Martin Short. Performances typically revolve around Boyle's life, recalling favorite moments with the actor. The comedy celebration has been noted as the most successful fundraiser in IMF history, as the first event held in 2007 raised over $550,000, while the following year over $600,000 was raised for the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund in support of the IMF's research programs.[25]

Awards and nominations

Nomination (1977) — Lead Actor in a Drama or Comedy Special: Tail Gunner Joe
Nomination (1989) — Guest Actor in a Drama Series: J.J. Killian in Midnight Caller episode "Fathers and Sins"
Win (1996) — Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Clyde Bruckman in The X-Files episode "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose"
(7) Nominations (1999–2005) — Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Everybody Loves Raymond
The cast of Everybody Loves Raymond was nominated for Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series each year from 1999–2000 and 2002–2006. Boyle was additionally nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series in 2002.[26]



Year Title Role Notes
1966 The Group Unknown Uncredited
1968 The Virgin President General Heath
1969 Medium Cool Gun Clinic Manager
1969 The Monitors Production Manager
1970 Joe Joe Curran Nominated—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
1970 Diary of a Mad Housewife Man Uncredited
1971 T.R. Baskin Jack Mitchell
1972 The Candidate Marvin Lucas
1972 F.T.A. Unknown
1973 The Man Who Could Talk to Kids Charlie Datweiler Television movie
1973 Ghost in the Noonday Sun Ras Mohammed
1973 Steelyard Blues Eagle Thornberry
1973 Slither Barry Fenaka
1973 The Friends of Eddie Coyle Dillon
1973 Kid Blue Preacher Bob
1974 Young Frankenstein The Monster
1974 Crazy Joe Joe
1976 Taxi Driver Wizard
1976 Swashbuckler Lord Durant
1977 Tail Gunner Joe Senator Joseph McCarthy Television movie
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1978 F.I.S.T. Max Graham
1978 The Brink's Job Joe McGinnis
1979 Hardcore Andy Mast
1979 Beyond the Poseidon Adventure Frank Mazzetti
1980 Where the Buffalo Roam Lazlo
1980 In God We Tru$t Dr. Sebastian Melmoth
1981 Outland Mark Sheppard
1982 Hammett Jimmy Ryan
1983 Yellowbeard Moon
1984 Johnny Dangerously Jocko Dundee
1985 Turk 182 Det. Ryan
1987 Surrender Jay
1987 Walker Cornelius Vanderbilt
1988 The In Crowd Uncle Pete Boyle
1988 Red Heat Cmdr. Lou Donnelly
1989 The Dream Team Jack McDermott
1989 Speed Zone Spiro T. Edsel
1989 Funny Unknown
1990 The Tragedy of Flight 103: The Inside Story Fred Ford Television movie
1990 Challenger Roger Television movie
1990 Solar Crisis Arnold Teague
1991 Men of Respect Matt Duffy
1991 Kickboxer 2: The Road Back Justin Maciah
1992 Nervous Ticks Ron Rudman
1992 Death and the Compass Detective Erik Lönnrot
1992 Honeymoon in Vegas Chief Orman
1992 Malcolm X Captain Green
1994 The Shadow Moe
1994 Killer George
1994 The Santa Clause Mr. Whittle
1995 Born to Be Wild Gus Charnley
1995 While You Were Sleeping Ox
1996 Final Vendetta Jay Glass
1996 Milk & Money Belted Galloway
1997 That Darn Cat Pa
1998 Species II Dr. Herman Cromwell
1998 Dr. Dolittle Calloway
2001 Monster's Ball Buck Grotowski
2002 The Adventures of Pluto Nash Rowland
2002 The Santa Clause 2 Father Time Uncredited
2003 The Cat Returns Muta voice only in English version
2004 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed Old Man Wickles
2006 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Father Time
2008 All Roads Lead Home Poovey Released posthumously


Year Title Role Notes
1986 Joe Bash Joe Bash 6 episodes
1988 Cagney & Lacey Phillip Greenlow Episode: "A Class Act"
1989–1991 Midnight Caller J.J. Killian 3 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
1990 Poochinski Stanley Poochinski TV pilot
1994–1995 NYPD Blue Dan Breen 5 episodes
1995 The X-Files Clyde Bruckman Episode: "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose"
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
1996–2005 Everybody Loves Raymond Frank Barone 207 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Male in a Television Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1999-2005)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series (2002, 2004)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (1999-2000, 2002, 2004–06)
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series
1997 Cosby Frank Barone Episode: "Lucas Raymondicus"
1998 The King of Queens Frank Barone Episode: "Road Rayage"


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  18. ^ Videos, both aired and unaired, are routinely distributed to the music press; this clip appears on fan-made bootleg video compilations: Reprinted at Roger Waters Video AnthologyPink Floyd RoIO Database:
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External links

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